What the US Military Does on Guam and Why North Korea Cares

A man walks past the Seoul office of the Guam Visitors Bureau in Seoul

With North Korea threatening to send a salvo of ballistic missiles close to Guam, a USA military hub in the Pacific, pressure could grow for Washington to put its multibillion-dollar missile defense system into use and shoot them out of the air.

Gaminde's remarks comes after North Korea announced earlier on Thursday that the nation has a detailed plan for a missile strike near Guam, where about 7,000 USA troops are stationed, using four intermediate-range ballistic rockets.

During a lengthy exchange with reporters, President Trump said that his threat to bring "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to threaten the United States may not have gone far enough.

Keeping up his tough talk from his New Jersey golf resort where he is on a working vacation, Trump warned Kim Jong Un's government to "get their act together" or face extraordinary trouble, and suggested his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea was too mild. "We are with you a thousand percent".

The exercises are expected to run from August 21-31 and involve tens of thousands of troops on the ground and in the sea and air. Pyongyang says it will be ready to send its missile launch plan to Kim for approval just before or as the drills begin.

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The governor of Guam, Eddie Baza Calvo, said there had been no change to the threat level on the island, despite the harsh words. North Korea has previously mobilized large crowds to show its resolve when tensions escalate.

The possibility of escalation is made even more acute by the lack of any means of official communication across the Demilitarized Zone, though there has been no easing of the barrage of inflammatory comments in the US and the North since new sanctions against North Korea were announced last week. Guam officials are disseminating fact sheets to help residents prepare for a possible missile attack from North Korea. Trump said he thought USA allies South Korea and Japan were "very happy" with how he was handling the confrontation. US bombers have flown over the Korean Peninsula several times to show American strength after Pyongyang's missile tests.

The analysis was said to have been completed on July 28 in a classified summary by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

U.S. officials have said new steps that would target Chinese banks and firms doing business with Pyongyang are in the works, but these have appeared to be put on hold to give Beijing time to show it is serious about enforcing new United Nations sanctions. She called the most recent threats from both sides "dangerous" and said they had heightened tensions in the region. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there is no military solution, adding that "an escalation of the rhetoric is the wrong answer".

Trump said hours later, "Let her speak for Germany".

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